How Eliminating Two Negative Beliefs Changed My Life (And Made Me Rich)

Screw it, I’m gonna share something super personal.

This is something that will probably surprise the people involved, because I don’t think they know this…

But it has to do with mindset…

And overcoming your mental baggage and blocks.

In some respects, this ties-into a question Jimmy Parent asked me about mindset and getting clients.

So what is it?

In the summer of 2016, I went to a mastermind about an hour outside of Paris, at the Château Du Grande Lucé. If that sounds fancy, it is. The Château Du Grande Lucé is this crazy aristocratic estate featuring a massive formal garden with statues that were gifted to the owner by King Louis XV. Voltaire stayed in this chateau and wrote great works. So did a ton of other famous artists, nobility, and intellectuals. It’s splendid.

The mastermind was put on by Chris Clark and Scott Rewick, and it was not cheap…

I forget the exact amount, but I think it was something like $25,000 for four days.

At the time it was a CRAZY leap for me to make…

My company HLH had just started making some money and getting some volume, but I wasn’t massively profitable. In fact, it wasn’t even until I was in Europe that I think we ever even had a 5 figure day….

And even when I got to France, money was still very, very tight.

So anyways, the attendee list was really strong...

I’m going to forget some people, but it included:

Mike Geary, Ed Scow, Tyler Bramlett, Daniel Toh, Scott & Chris (Obviously), Allen Baler, Ian Stanley, John Barry, Jason Kryski, and Gary Nealon.

Out of the attendees, the only people I personally knew or had ever met in person were Ian Stanley and Scott Rewick. I’d heard of everyone else, but never met them before.

Honestly, I was nervous when I arrived at the Chateau…

But everyone was super nice, we all got along well, there were tons of cool events and things happening, and I was learning some great stuff.

It’s was all good…

But then, there’s this moment...

It happens the evening of Day 2.

We’d been out all day traveling around the French Countryside, exploring wine caves, and doing all of this other #Blessed stuff.

Now we’re back at the chateau, everyone is having drinks, and we’ve broken into small little groups of conversation (as is prone to happen at social gatherings in large spaces).

I’m in one of the parlors (where the bar is, obviously), by the fire place…

And I end up in a circle with Chris Clark, Tyler Bramlett, and Mike Geary.

They start talking about email deliverability, list monetization, things like that…

And I catch myself having this crazy thought…

Which is:

“The big boys are talking now. I should walk away or go find something else to do so they can have their conversation.”

And I actually start to walk away! I’m like half-turned around!

But then, in that moment, another voice comes into my head and it says:

“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Of course you belong. You’re here, aren’t you? Your copy has generated hundreds of millions of dollars. You have a health supplement company that’s already grossed $1MM in its first year and is starting to do even bigger numbers. You were able to spend TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS to make it to France to this mastermind. OF COURSE you belong.”

And so I stay. But honestly, even then, it’s uncomfortable.

I don’t really know much about email deliverability, so I don’t contribute to the conversation…

But I force myself to just sit there throughout the whole thing.

It’s like this battle of wills is going on, except the only people battling were me and my inner-saboteur.

And later that night, as I’m lying in my boujee bed…

I have one of those “aha moment” about all of this.

I realize that there are two deep-seated, negative beliefs that I’ve been carrying around since childhood, without ever fully realizing it:

1. I’m not good enough

2. I don’t belong.

And I ask myself, where’d those beliefs come from?

Well I moved from Maryland to San Diego at the age of eight years old.

I went from a small, rural community where my “going away party” was in a barn…

To a large, urban city.

And because I’d come from such a small community and small school in Maryland (my sister’s 8th grade class had…wait for it, 12 people in it)…

My family had made the sacrifice to put both of us into a private school in San Diego, and specifically in La Jolla.

They did this mostly for class size – the public high school my sister would have attended had a freshman class size of over 1,000 students, and my parents thought it would be too big of a change for my sister. I got to tag along too.

#BlessedAgain, sure.

But it was such a big shift for me. Rural Maryland vs. San Diego was so different. And honestly while there are things I am very grateful for about getting to attend a private school…

It’s also where those feelings of “I’m not good enough” all came from.

This school was the kind of place where kids judged you for your fashion (“ewww you wore that shirt LAST week”)….

Where money matters…

And where I got a lot of weird looks because my first car was a 1988 Volvo 240 (which was my sister’s before me)…

While my friends’ first cars were new BMWs, Mercedes, Navigators, and Escalades.

Shit like that…

And you try to be well adjusted, but that stuff can infect your brain.

Oh plus I was overweight from about 7 to 15 or so…

Never like morbidly obese, but I was chunky for sure. And so especially when I moved cross country, to a new school, I got teased about my weight nonstop. .

Like signs taped to my back saying “caution wide load” – that was super common…

Or another example…

There was this grassy hill that we’d pass on the way up to PE…

And for whatever reason, all the kids would always run up to the top and then jump off of it before and after gym class.

Well one time, in 5th grade, some of the “popular kids” called me over to jump off with them…

And I remember feeling so excited, like I was finally being accepted. Like they really liked me! Like they realized that I was a nice, cool, fun guy who would make a great friend!

For a few innocent seconds, I was on cloud-nine…

But when I ran and jumped off that hill…

Close to 50 kids all fell down to the ground at once.

They pretended that me jumping off the hill had caused an earthquake.

It was all a set up.

They laughed, mercilessly as I hit the ground…

And I laughed too and tried to shake it off….

But on the inside, it fucking killed me.

So again, was it any wonder that the two voices in my head were:

“I’m not good enough” and “I don’t belong?”

Those were two narratives from my childhood that had been SEARED into my brain…

And even as I became an adult…

Gained more confidence…

Finally stopped seeing myself as a little fat boy when I looked in the mirror (that shit probably didn’t happen until I was in my early twenties by the way)…

And started having some success in my career…

What I realized that night in the Chateau…

Is that those two narratives were still in my brain, still informing the way I acted, and still shaping the experiences in my life.

And I made a decision.

I decided that they wouldn’t hold power over me any longer.

In fact, I decided that it was RIDICULOUS that some shit from my childhood was going to affect my life as an adult…

That it was going to make me stunt my growth and my development.

I realized that I could control my OWN narrative…

I finally accepted that the person you are when you’re 9…or 14…or whatever age…

That isn’t the person you have to be forever.

In other words…

That night, as I lay in bed…

I decided that from then on, I WAS good enough, and I DID belong.

And that shift, it changed everything.

E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

In the next year, my company crossed $23 MM in revenue. The same company that had done $1MM the year before…

When I shut that company down, I started charging way higher fees for my copywriting, and people paid it…

And I started THRIVING in my relationships and friendships in this space.

Since that trip to France in the summer of 2016…

Almost every one of those people I listed as attendees is now someone I consider a friend.

Scott Rewick was at my wedding…

Tyler Bramlett brought his whole team to my Copy Intensive, and he put one of his writers in Copy Accelerator.

Jason Kryski sent one of his writers to my copy intensive too, and we just had a great catch up at this most recent T&C.

Just a month or so ago, me and Chris Clark spent an hour on Skype shooting the shit on product ideas (and he tags people in posts like these).

Allen Baler has hired me for projects and has one of his writers in Copy Accelerator…

Daniel Toh sends traffic to my offers all the time, I’ve written stuff for him, and we love chatting and catching up.

And Ian Stanley is a good friend who I adore.

Being open to those relationships and friendships has been so rewarding to me…

Financially sure…

But WAY more importantly…

These friendships have brought so much fulfillment to my life.

And it never would have happened if I hadn’t changed my mentality from:

“I’m not” and “I don’t”…

To “I am” and “I do.”

So this is just one of the reasons why I believe mindset is so important…

It’s also why, while I never attended a Lionheart workshop, I really respected the work that Ian was doing.

I think digging deep into your mental and emotional hang-ups is vital. Being honest with them. Assessing what self-limiting beliefs you have, the ones that have been ingrained inside your brain. Then, giving yourself the power to release them. Granting yourself permission to reach for excellence.

That’s really the key to everything.